March 22, 2007 |
Bread baking seems simple enough - in its purest form just flour, water and yeast with a sprinkle of salt. And in many ways it is that simple - once you master a few basics, such as feeding the yeast (adding the flour), developing the gluten (kneading the dough), and sensing the "feel" of ripe dough (the perfect smooth, elastic consistency). It's not as scary as it sounds. And perfectionists aside, you don't have to spend 10 days growing a starter or commit to nursing that "baby bread" for the cloning of future loaves.
June 11, 2006 |
What we like: This small family-run BYOB on Souderton's main thoroughfare serves Italian appetizers and entrees that include a daily selection of lunch and dinner specials. The service is friendly and the casual atmosphere is reminiscent of a Mediterranean trattoria. Some notable selections: Homemade soups are offered daily. The cremini mushroom soup is light, creamy and slightly piquant, swimming with just the right amount of pleasantly chewy mushrooms and topped with a liberal sprinkle of grated Italian cheese.
April 28, 2006 |
Well-heeled American homeowners continue to be eager to fill their kitchens and bathrooms with over-the-top designer gadgetry. In the trade, it's known as "living life to the fullest. " And every spring, the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show trots out the latest appliances and fixtures aimed at helping to satisfy that desire. Few of us have $35,000 to spend on the Miele commercial washer-dryer duo that's finding its way into the McMansions of upper-crust New York City suburbs.
April 13, 2006 |
After a few pomegranate cosmopolitans with one of my best childhood friends, our conversation inevitably turned to our favorite topic: food. My friend Joy offered to host a group of friends at her home in Washington, and painted a portrait of a perfect Easter supper, with the added draw of cherry blossoms in bloom. She also persuaded me to undertake the lamb entree - even after I had forsworn ever preparing it again - after a disastrous attempt this past winter. I took her well-reasoned appeal to heart, trusting her implicitly as both a more experienced and less impetuous cook.
February 6, 2006 |
Gerald B. Shreiber, chief executive officer of J&J Snack Foods Corp., is an in-your-face manager who doesn't hesitate to make subordinates squirm. That's what happened last month at J&J's Uptown Bakeries operation in Bridgeport when manager Tom Hunter told Shreiber about a problem with a cheese-topped potato bagel being tested by a potentially huge customer. The cheese topping was burning when the customer ran the bagel, for a breakfast sandwich, through an oven set up to heat English muffin sandwiches, Hunter said.
December 4, 2005 |
What we like about it: These large, soft pretzels, generously sprinkled with salt, and warm from the oven, hit the spot. Customers can drop by almost anytime - 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. - and see the pretzels hand-twisted and put in the oven in the small retail shop. Regular pretzels are 55 cents each, or $5.50 for a dozen. They're also available in four flavors - butter, garlic, cheese and cinnamon sugar. Flavored pretzels are 75 cents each. Owner Jim Stewart has been making pretzels since he was 14. He bought the business in 1993.
November 17, 2005 |
It's that boasting time of year again, when people begin campaigning for the crowns of Greatest Kitchen Martyr and Most Ingenious Holiday Chef. This is marked by animated exchanges - often between folks who really cook no more than once a year - relaying tales of Herculean efforts in Thanksgivings past. "You cooked for how many people last year? Oh, you poor thing!" the conversation typically begins. "We had twice that number. . . . " At least in Center City, where most rowhouses are so obviously small, the purported guest lists never exceed double digits.
November 3, 2005 |
My grandfather was nearly 80 years old before he stepped into the kitchen to do anything more than pop a couple of pieces of bread in the toaster for breakfast. Almost every meal of his adult life was prepared by my grandmother, whose two greatest culinary achievements were creamy mashed potatoes and Jell-O with floating banana slices. After my grandmother passed away, he realized he couldn't rely forever on the endless stream of tuna casseroles the elderly women of Century Village left on his doorstep.
May 13, 2005 |
Question: The floors of our 16-year-old townhouse are carpeted, but whenever anyone walks in the first-floor foyer or the stairs to the second floor, there are annoying squeaks. What is the cause, and what is the cure? Answer: Most squeaks occur when the subfloor loosens from its supporting joists and rubs against a popped nail. For stairs, the problem is similar: The tread loosens from the riser. In both cases, you can silence the squeak by eliminating the movement. If you have easy access to the floor joists in the basement, first have someone walk on the floor above to determine where the squeaks are. Then, insert a wood shim there, tightly between the subfloor and the joist.
March 25, 2005 |
In the market for a new microwave oven? The latest models are smaller and sleeker than their predecessors, and they do a lot more, too. Touchpads preset to the right cooking times and temperatures let you bake potatoes and cook frozen pizza at the touch of a finger. Many brands allow you to put something in the microwave, then program cooking to start hours later. But deciding which oven is right for you depends on form (where you're putting it) and function (what you need it for)